Pop Culture

'Idol' kicks off double elimination with a big lie

At the end of the “American Idol” opening montage on Thursday, the show teased its viewers by saying “...  and you won't believe who is going home.”

Oh, how it lied.

In contrast to last week, when everyone was shocked to see Casey Abrams finish with the lowest number of votes and then nearly collapse onstage after the judges elected to save him, this time things went as expected. Perhaps because an overwhelming 55 million votes that were cast, the results were notable because of how predictable they were.

Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia both had been in danger before and neither did particularly well on Wednesday, so it would have been surprising had they not been in the bottom three. Adedapo’s reggae number was more corny than innovative, and Megia’s vocals didn’t stand out from the crowd, so neither was able to gain traction among the voters. As a result, they ultimately were the two sent home.

The results continued the trend of women exiting early. The first four singers eliminated have been women, thanks to the judges’ use of the save on Abrams last week. It follows a season where Crystal Bowersox was the only female among the final five.

That decision to save Abrams last week also ended some of the drama Thursday, though it’s doubtful that the judges would have brought either Adedapo or Megia back anyway. Adedapo is a great performer and should be onstage somewhere, but she never came up with a big enough fan base to be secure. Megia was very good at her auditions and in Hollywood, but couldn’t keep up with the improvements made by fellow competitors Pia Toscano and Lauren Alaina. And on night when all three sang ballads, Megia’s was the weakest of the lot.

Minor surprise
Paul McDonald
was the third singer in trouble among the three lowest vote-getters, though he and the loud white jacket with the flowers lived to see another week.

It marked McDonald’s first time in trouble, and it came on a week when it looked like he was holding back on the vocals in both episodes. He’s going to have to cut loose next time to get back on track. Though regardless of what happens, the judges are sure to praise him for his unique voice, as they have every week thus far.

Those steps came out of nowhere!
The "Idol" finalists had to move out of their leaky mansion this week and into a hotel, going from the life of luxury to ... a life of luxury in a slightly different setting.

That move nearly proved very costly for Alaina, who slipped down the last few steps and slid down to the floor while she tried to make it out of the house with her suitcase. She suffered no injury except to her pride, though that embarrassment was only magnified when the clip of her flopping down the stairs like a preschooler was shown on national television to millions of people.

Good news for Alaina though: Hotels have elevators!

Survivor’s guilt
Some of the footage showed scenes from the week leading up to last week’s “Idol” episode and its aftermath, including an extended clip of Abrams being taken offstage by the doctor. His primary emotion once he got away from the stage was guilt more than it was relief.

“I feel so guilty right now. You have no idea,” he told the doctor, adding that he didn’t know how he could look anyone in the eye.

Then the rest of the finalists came in, and in the best “Idol” fashion they all hugged it out. Clearly, Abrams has yet to find the overwhelming selfishness and ego that many performers seem to find essential to being a star.

Care packages
It’s not surprising that the “American Idol” contestants get fan mail (and the post office is probably grateful for the work). But James Durbin apparently has fans who are particularly devoted.

Durbin, who performed alongside a flaming piano Wednesday night, revealed to host Ryan Seacrest that fans are sending him bracelets, which he says he wears. He also brought out the crown jewel of swag ... a mock WWE championship belt that a fan made and sent to him.

Vince McMahon should have to send him a check, given all of the endorsements Durbin has given the sport lately.

Craig Berman is a frequent contributor to TODAY.com. Follow him on Twitter as he live tweets each episode.

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